Penn Law Professors Honored for Supreme Court Case Work

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Media Contact:Steve Barnes | | 215-573-5181June 22, 2011


            PHILADELPHIA -- Professor Stephanos Bibas and lecturers Yolanda Vazquez and Stephen Kinnaird of the University of Pennsylvania Law School along with their legal team have been awarded the 2011 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Bibas ,Vazquez and Kinnaird received the honor for excellence in the field of immigration law for their work on the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court Case Padilla v. Kentucky. Bibas, director of Penn Law’s Supreme Court Clinic, and Vazquez and Kinnaird oversaw a team of Penn Law students who conducted research, wrote briefs and prepared strategy for the case.  The Penn Law group was among a 12-member team of pro bono attorneys honored at the AILA annual conference on June 16 in San Diego.

The AILA recognized the Padilla team for improving the rights for immigrants in the U.S. court system by successfully arguing to the Supreme Court that criminal defense lawyers must advise their noncitizen clients about the risk of deportation if they accept a guilty plea.

In announcing the award, the AILA said, “The litigation team took on this pro bono case as a labor of love, and brought about a result that has transformed the landscape of the rights of immigrants in our system.”

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